Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Well, it is good to be home, sort of

Well, I knew that I had left the kitchen and such a mess. But somehow it was still a surprise when I came home. Not so much the kitchen, which I remembered was in total disorder even if I did manage to get the dishes done before I left, but the rest of the house. I go away for a while and I forget how much junk is...well...all over the place. I've spent a little more than two weeks in four motels, where the room mysteriously gets clean all by itself while I'm out having lunch.

Here, the place never gets completely clean no matter how much time and effort I try to put into making that happen. Not that I often put that much effort into it. It is a difficult thing for me to attempt, since I know that even if I do manage to get the place straightened up it will soon just be all messed up again.

So coming home is always a bit of a shock.

It takes me a while to get things going again. It slowly dawns on me that breakfast isn't going to magically appear in the kitchen. Not even something that sort of resembles breakfast, like donuts or bagels. Nor can I really make any breakfast or even something that sort of resembles breakfast, because we've been gone for two weeks and haven't gone grocery shopping yet. I didn't even think to buy any milk yesterday.

We do have something that just vaguely resembles breakfast. We did manage to go to the Marie Callender's Semi-Annual Pie Sale. But after three weeks of planning to buy a blueberry pie, well, the key lime pie looked really good, so we bought that instead. Somehow a piece of key lime pie seems even less like breakfast than fruit pie. And we don't even have any milk to go with it.

As much as I enjoy art class, I have discovered that I really do not enjoy it after being gone for two weeks. I wanted so much to get things done ahead of schedule, and now I am two weeks behind. I left a piece to dry, but without being there to remind the professor, he forgot to fire it. But it is a terra cotta piece that I do not plan to glaze, so that is really no big deal as long as he does remember to fire it next week. I had mostly finished with my wire sculpture, but really I have already lost interest in it. The project I had been working when I left was ahead of schedule for a bit, with the tile models mostly finished, and I was just waiting for the plaster to arrive before I did some final touch-ups and cast them. The plaster did not arrive when it was supposed to, so I really didn't get anything done that last week. The plaster came while I was away, and was all used up. So I had to wait for more to arrive and finally cast two of the tiles Tuesday night. I did not get all four tiles casted as the professor insisted I should be able to do. I did not follow his advice and have the tiles all lined up and ready to pour, because for me the most time consuming part of actually pouring plaster is cleaning up the bucket so that I can mix the next batch of plaster. If I had thought about it, I could have gone to the dollar store and bought three extra buckets and just thrown them away afterwards and not done much cleanup at all, but I didn't do that. So I was just using the one bucket and I didn't see any reason to leave the tiles out to get dried up while I was washing out a bucket. So I have to go in again this morning and pour two more tiles before I can do anything else.

So I am now behind on everything that I was already working out, I totally missed all of the classes when the other students were carving soapstone, and I've now made two false starts on my pumpkin project. Tonight I think I will totally start over again.

Oddly enough, until Monday I hadn't really thought about my grades in this class. I don't need the credit for anything, and I don't think I even have to worry about passing this class to get on to a next one. So I wasn't really concerned about it. Of course, I cannot allow myself to get a bad grade, even on class I'm just taking for fun. The grades will get added to my GPA, and if at some point I actually decide I want another degree, I can't let that slip, just in case. Anyway, this professor teaches art classes, mostly to non-art majors. He likes to give out grades based on something other than outstanding artwork. Not that outstanding artwork isn't appreciated, it's just that he feels that these students who aren't great artists and who are being forced to take an art elective should still have a chance at getting good grades if they put in the time and effort. So sometimes one of his classes has almost half of the grade determined by quizzes, which don't require any artistic talent at all. For some of his classes, he has found ways around the rule of not letting a student's attendance determine part of his grade.

So Monday I figured out that the grades for this class are almost entirely determined by meeting deadlines, at least two of which I am probably about to miss.

Somehow, I am not done with my Halloween costume either. I took the thing with me and worked on it a lot during the trip, but it still needs some work. And I think that I must have put on a few pounds, cause it doesn't look as good on as it did when I first started working on it.

Not that having deadlines is anything unusual in a college class. But I'm not used to having art classes set up that way. Maybe you have to have a number of things really to be graded at mid-term and the rest completed by finals week, or maybe you don't even have a mid-term evaluation and just be aware of how much work you have to get done and have everything completed by finals.

Anyway, I hadn't really given it much thought. I was under the impression that if I got behind I could either file for an incomplete or just drop the class and keep working on my projects anyway. But if grades are totally determined by deadlines, I don't suppose filing for an incomplete would help anything.

I had totally forgotten about the student competition, and yesterday I had the pleasant surprise of learning that two of my three pieces are going to be in the show in Fort Worth. I have two pieces in, and a friend of mine has two pieces in, and a couple of former classmates have two pieces in. No one got all three of their pieces in, so I guess that's pretty good to get two in.

Anyway, if I'm in the student art show, they would probably not like it if I dropped the class. People in the student art show should actually be...officially...still students of the school. See?

So far as I know, I didn't win anything, other than just getting into the show. Professor said that they wouldn't announce that until the reception two weeks from now, but I don't think that's right. Two of my friends won stuff last year, and they knew before the reception. Otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to go to the thing.

I have to work on one of those "it's an honor just to be nominated" sort of things.

But really, I have no objection to winning ribbons and such.

And cash awards are really nice things to get.

Well, I was going to come back after class and write some more, but I think that will have to wait. I will get caught up with the posts and reading other people's blogs eventually. It is nice to have my computer instead of the company's laptop.

1 comment:

David in DC said...

Key lime pie for breakfast sounds a little bit like heaven.